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EFF Files Comments on Net Neutrality

PRESS RELEASE
January 14, 2010
Asks FCC to Close Loopholes That Endanger Free Speech and Innovation

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today to close loopholes in its proposed regulations for network neutrality -- loopholes that could let the entertainment industry and law enforcement hinder free speech and innovation.

"The central goal of the net neutrality movement is to prevent ISPs from discriminating against lawful content on the Internet," said EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick. "Yet the FCC's version of net neutrality specifically allows ISPs to make those discriminations -- opening the door to widespread Internet surveillance and censorship in the guise of copyright protection and addressing the needs of law enforcement."

Under the FCC's proposed neutrality rules, ISPs would get a free pass to block content in pursuit of copyright infringement or when they voluntarily adopt measures to help law enforcement.

"We know from bitter experience that dragnet copyright enforcement efforts often end up inflicting collateral damage on lawful activities," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Neutrality regulations should not excuse ISPs that discriminate against or block innocent content just because they claim it was done to protect copyrights or cater to law enforcement."

EFF's comments also question whether the FCC has the authority to regulate the Internet in the first place, citing the lack of any legal basis to enact net neutrality rules. Additionally, EFF calls on the FCC to protect the interests of individuals who offer open WiFi Internet access to their neighbors or local communities.

Also today, EFF launched the Real Net Neutrality campaign to coordinate public support for removal of the copyright-enforcement loophole. On RealNetNeutrality.org, people can sign EFF's petition to the FCC and learn more about issue.

For EFF's full comments to the FCC:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/nn/EFFNNcomments.pdf

For more on Real Net Neutrality:
http://www.realnetneutrality.org/

Contacts:

Jennifer Stisa Granick
Civil Liberties Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
jennifer@eff.org

Fred von Lohmann
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
fred@eff.org

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